CBI comments on new Board of Trade

Boris Johnson and Liam Fox leave Downing Street earlier this week

The Board of Trade is to be revived as an advisory body to attract more inward investment to the United Kingdom and boost exports.

Josh Hardie, deputy director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), added: "We look forward to working with the government to explain these benefits and make the case for free trade".

However, the Secretary of State for International Trade is the only official member of the board and would be its chair.

'That is why we are drawing on prominent figures from business and politics across the country and not just restricting to Privy Councillors, as happened in the past'.

Liam Fox had better not be late for meetings of the United Kingdom government's new Board of Trade - because he is its only official member.

A government spokeswoman added that the Board's revival was part of ensuring that the country had a trade policy after Brexit, in which the United Kingdom will leave the European Union in March 2019.

However, membership of the board of trade, which was first established in the 17th century but whose functions were long ago subsumed by Whitehall departments, is limited to Dr Fox.

Previous politicians who have enjoyed using the title have been Harold Wilson and Lord Heseltine.

The board will meet four times a year, with meetings rotated around the United Kingdom "guaranteeing all parts of the union have a chance to raise the issues most important to them".

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